Eclipses signal moments of transition, and often disorientation, when things are revealed to be other than what they had seemed. This week’s Solar Eclipse falls in Sagittarius, the sign of higher education, sports, and beliefs. In the past two weeks, two scandals involving universities have sent shock waves through the media.
First, a former defensive coordinator for Pennsylvania State University’s football team was accused of engaging in sexual abuse of children, and his behavior appears to have been covered up by his supervisors. The story has stunned the nation, but has had a particular disorienting effect on the Penn State community, where university football and coach Joe Paterno have long served as a unifying social and even moral nexus. Reporter Michael Winereb, who hails from State College, Pennsylvania (home of Penn State), summed up the stunned reactions of the town in a piece for Grantland (italics mine):
When I saw those televised shots of [coach Joe Paterno’s] house on McKee Street, something caught in my throat, a conditioned response to a man I’ve been raised to believe was the moral arbiter of our community. All I can say by way of explanation is that there are people here who will cling to iconography because this is what they’ve always done. That’s what I think is happening here: It’s not that we are condoning child rape, and it’s not that we don’t recognize our obligation to the victims above all else. It’s that we are condemning all that Jerry Sandusky is accused of and trying to make it right while also dealing with this involuntary response to the death throes of a way of life.
Second, videotape emerged of campus police using pepper spray on peaceful Occupy demonstrators at the University of California Davis. The videotape (and waggish collages, like the one above, that insert pepper-spraying cops into works of art) went viral over the weekend, and UC Davis’ Chancellor has met with angry shouts from students and protests, demanding her resignation. The shocking footage of the incident has made UC Davis the latest focal point of the Occupy movement. As an employee of UC San Diego remarked to me yesterday, “I thought campus police were supposed to protect the students, not pepper spray them.”
You may not be involved with a university, a sports team, or the Occupy movement – but with this week’s eclipse in Sagittarius, you’re asked to examine your core beliefs. When people and institutions that we trust are revealed to have feet of clay, what is left for us to believe in? Fortunately, Sagittarius the optimist offers this: We can always trust what we know to be true and ethical in ourselves.
Guest blogger April Elliott Kent is the author of The Essential Guide to Practical Astrology and Star Guide to Weddings. Visit her website to learn more about her eclipse report, Followed by a Moonshadow. April is a regular contributor to MoonCircles.